As part of Aviso's Revenue Navigators Series, we spoke with Simon Davies, the SVP & GM APAC of Splunk. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, with over 7,500 employees, Splunk is the data platform leader for security and observability. This post is the third of three segments breaking down Simon’s interview with Aviso. As a business leader with extensive experience in selling and implementing IT solutions, Simon spoke out about the changes brought in by the pandemic and the role of emerging technologies like augmented and virtual reality in the world of sales, and his involvement in companies that sell tools used by revenue leaders every day.
Aviso: What has and hasn’t changed in the world of virtual sales during the pandemic?
Simon Davies: The focus on the customer hasn't changed. Although in some parts of the world, people are buying more from a relationship and relying heavily upon it. This was successful for Australian businesses who have done well at building deep connections with their customers to understand how they're going to drive business outcomes rather than just focusing on solutions or helping them solve challenges directly related to your product/service offerings.
When companies have remote employees, they need to provide the tools that make sure these workers can do their job effectively and securely. As we've seen in other parts of the region where this practice is more prevalent than here (in APAC), at first there was resistance from both sides. Employers who didn't want change had concerns about how it would affect them (i.e, moving from face-to-face interactions to virtual).
Japan and Korea have been at the forefront of this shift toward subscription-based services. This change was started by young people who want to align their values with those offered in these new models. This has led them on a path towards success that will be difficult if not impossible for older generations not willing or able to make adjustments early on.
The use of augmented reality and virtual reality will allow us to consume data more visually. However, we're limited by what can be shown on screens and if I'm able to immerse myself in that visualization then companies that, for example suffer from cyber incidents, would need AI engines that pull information about similar events so they do not have multiple dashboards open at once but instead one single window showing all available details.
Data visualization is the new frontier for marketers and data scientists. With so many possibilities, it's important to know what tools you need in your toolkit — like machine learning algorithms that can help generate insights based on customer behaviors or signals from social media updates alone.
Aviso: What excites you about the potential of AI and Sales?
Simon Davies: With the coming of metaverse virtual, we will see new opportunities that were previously only possible in theory. With machine learning and artificial intelligence, we can find the needles that will make a difference in the world of customer service, whether it is finding sales prospects or qualifying new customers faster than ever before. Many companies are already implementing machine-learning algorithms to provide personalized customer service and other innovative uses. I'm confident we'll see even more changes over time as technology continues to develop new capabilities.
The future of sales is all about understanding your customers and what they need from a business. This way, we can give them just that with ease. If you're not doing that, then your organization might be at risk. I think embracing modern technologies and investing time in understanding them will help change a business for the better. This is why it's important to have a system like Aviso, so we can evolve with our needs as they arise.
For example, how do you make the most out of all this disparate data? The answer is in having an integrated platform that can help make sense of it and provide valuable insights. A tool like Aviso has been designed with simplicity and ease-of-use at its core so it's going to be critical for innovation in this industry.
Aviso: What are some of the roles in your career that shaped your leadership style in selling and implementing IT solutions?
Simon Davies: As an Australian who has spent nearly 20 years in Singapore, I've had the opportunity to work with companies across different industries and sales strategies. My career gave me a unique perspective on how revenue leaders in different organizations use tools every day — it's fascinating!
When you lead with a customer-first mentality, it becomes easier to drive better outcomes for both your customers and yourself. And I think if we focus on keeping that north star in mind while working day after day with the people who help us make them successful, things will tend to take care of themselves as well.
In this interview segment, Simon Davies spoke about his unique perspective on understanding how different organizations across industries approach sales, and how they leverage different channels, direct sales, and inside sales. Simon also discussed how artificial intelligence and machine learning can provide valuable insights from the deluge of data that organizations witness today.
Aviso’s AI platform applies time-series capabilities and forecasting algorithms to customers’ data to reveal things they would never have known otherwise including key actions to close a particular deal. Aviso enables sales managers to utilize specific nudges in their decision-making process to improve their team’s performance and maximize the company's profitability.
If you are interested in following Splunk's decision to go with Aviso's time series revenue platform, please sign up here. You can also read other customers' success stories here.